BALTIMORE (WJZ) — What’s next for Ray Rice? The Ravens star works to move past a violent encounter with his wife. The football player’s lawyer admits it was a mistake and a lapse in judgment.
Rice is about to start a diversion program, which keeps him out of jail and keeps his record clean.
Mike Hellgren has details of Rice’s punishment and new insight from the team.
If he’s successful in this pretrial intervention program, the only thing that will stay on his record is his arrest. Team President Dick Cass says it’s a good outcome for Rice, but possible NFL sanctions loom large.
The TMZ Sports video showing Ray Rice dragging his now-wife out of an elevator at a casino after prosecutors say he hit her may have caused lasting damage to the running back’s reputation, but his acceptance into a pretrial intervention program saves him from further criminal problems.
It mandates rehabilitation, including counseling, but wipes away any criminal record.
The Ravens’ longtime president–Dick Cass–believes, in the end, Rice can turn this into a positive.
“I think it was a good development for Ray. I think the criminal proceeding is now behind him. He can focus on football,” said Cass. “And I think Ray will emerge from this incident as a stronger person with a stronger relationship with his wife.”
She petitioned the courts to allow for the lenient punishment, although it’s unclear who else on the team wrote letters to the judge on Rice’s behalf.
“If you complete a certain condition, whether it’s counseling or staying out of trouble, the case will be dismissed as though it never happened,” said Michael Diamondstein, Ray Rice’s lawyer.
This pretrial intervention program is so desirable many defense lawyers use it as a selling point to drum up business. But if you fall short, the case goes back to court.
“People will look at this incident, but they have to judge this incident against everything else Ray has done with his life and in the community,” Cass said.
There is more video from inside the Revel Casino, but unless Rice fails his pretrial intervention program, the public will probably never see it.
For Rice, no matter what happens on the legal end, the NFL commissioner has wide latitude to discipline. Sanctions could include big fines and suspension from multiple games.
“We’re not concerned. The process will play out. The commissioner will make a decision and we and Ray will abide by the decision,” Cass said.
Cass says to expect Rice to make a public statement soon. Both Rice and his wife are going through counseling.
Rice will be enrolled in the PTI program for one year.
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